SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TOTAL DIVAS, EPISODE 11
APRIL 5, 2017
AIRED ON E!
REPORT BY SARAH K., PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Total Divas opens with a recap: There was a draft (in July of 2016, some nine months ago), Eva Marie’s not on the main roster, and someone thinks people really care about Nikki Bella’s comeback (that’d be a solid no from me).
So, yeah, the show opens with the Raw before the Draft. For the Amish people reading this, or those who have just come out of comas, the GMs are announced. Renee and Nattie watch this backstage. Nattie makes a cat reference. Oh, right, the ever-changing 15 minute opening segment. We’re in the gym with the Bellas. Nikki isn’t cleared for the Draft, oh boo hoo (not). Outside the arena Nattie makes another cat reference. OMG, Eva makes an appearance! Yes, I forgot she existed since (the open of the show) she was suspended last September. Eva lets us know that it will be heartbreaking if she’s not drafted. Eva is conveniently in the makeup area backstage and Paige walks thru. This facilitates a cutaway of Paige talking about the situation with her neck injury and also not being part of the Draft. Do note: We haven’t been bombarded with the idea that Paige is going to make a big comeback from this injury. As someone who’s watched wrestling for 30+ years I gotta say I’d take a Paige comeback story over anything involving Nikki Bella any day.
Anyway, back to that fifteen minute long opening segment: We cut to a shot of Dean Ambrose vs. Miz, and then backstage to Renee and Naomi who run into Mark Carrano (wearing a suit from a spaghetti western), who helpfully tells them that splitting up couples might be best for business. Naomi contemplates retirement if she’s split from Jon. Renee also doesn’t want to be separated from Dean.
Meanwhile in Orlando, Nattie and Nikki are at the performance center. Yes, this is STILL the opening segment. Nattie talks about the severity of Nikki’s injury… without making any mention of that husband of hers. Nattie and Nikki spar for a bit. Then we’re backstage with Paige who is having a chat with “wellness program manager” Stacy Depolo. Of course, we cut to commercial break before we get to Paige’s results. Also, they actually did a teaser for the content that will be occurring after the commercial break… in case any of us were planning on just giving up, I guess.
So, the big reveal: With a couple weeks of physical therapy, Paige should be back in the ring soon (8-9 months ago). Then we’re backstage with Naomi & Jon. Naomi is anxious about being split up from Jon, he demures and says they’ll talk, text, and face time. Holy shit! Eva Marie makes another appearance on this show. Yes, she’s scared because she hopes to get drafted but might not. Again, not unlike Paige, I think we know how that turned out. Anyway, Eva’s at a diner with her parents, husband, and stylist. They have an awkward conversation about her career. Eva cries. Her dad is still charming anyway.
The show transitions to Nikki training with an MMA fighter. Nattie shows up. She’s nervous about training with Nikki. Nikki insists that she’s fine. It’s commercial time. Oh yeah, and the Draft that happened 9 months ago is still coming up!
Everyone is in the parking garage arriving at the building. Mix & Maryse take a selfie. Lana appears for the first time in the show. She’s keeping a positive outlook on the idea that she and Rusev will be together. We cut to a scene of Renee on the set of “Talking Smack” — she already knows she’ll be on Smackdown. Meanwhile, Nikki is whining in a cutaway about no one trusting that she’s healthy and generally blathering on about her comeback. Then we cut back to backstage where a number of people are gathered together to watch the Draft.
John Cena comes out for his match against Luke Gallows on the first Smackdown Live. Meanwhile the crowd backstage commiserates. Oh, for Christ’s sake, the first Draft pick that occurred in July of 2016 will take place after the commercial break. Yes, seriously.
Back from break, Paige is anxious about being separated from Alberto Del Rio. Dean Ambrose is drafted to SD; Raw drafts Sasha Banks, yada yada yada. Lana is disappointed to be on Raw when Nattie is on Smackdown. Naomi is still anxious to be separated from Jon. Of course, all the people who haven’t been picked yet are disappointed… this is just like not getting on the dodgeball team in junior high. Del Rio gets drafted to Smackdown (wow, I had totally forgotten). The Usos are drafted to Smackdown, and finally Naomi also gets drafted to SD. And then Paige is drafted to Raw. She’s understandably disappointed.
Back from break we’re still on the draft. Eva is disappointed that Nia Jax was drafted before her. Then finally, Eva is drafted to Smackdown (for her brief five week run). Lana is suffering anxiety over losing all her friends to the other show. Then we cut back to Orlando, because shit, we almost had a whole segment without a god damned Bella twin. Nikki is at her training session, bummed that Nattie is hesitant about working with her. Nikki feels she needs more support.
Then we’re at Nattie’s house with a visit from Brie. This was the clip from YouTube. Having already closed a browser window of this clip – this is a contrived reality tv segment that wouldn’t exist in real life; oh, and I so don’t care about Nikki Bella’s comeback. A fake conversation segment about it didn’t touch my heart. Meanwhile, Lana’s backstage at Raw bummed that her friends are on Smackdown. Lana briefly almost befriends Nia Jax. It doesn’t look like this is going to last. Then we cut to backstage at SD, where Nikki is doing a photo shoot. She has a one on one with Nattie. Nattie apologizes to Nikki, and here I probably yelled at the tv and instructed all the cast members to stop apologizing to Nikki for anything — until I repeatedly get an apology for all the unnecessary and uninteresting Bella Twins segments that occur on this show. And we cut to commercial. I’m not gonna hold my breath on that apology.
Back from break Nattie and Nikki hug. Nattie cries. They hug again. They then run “highlights” of Nikki’s career. Excuse me as I pause to rewind this to see if there was any actual wrestling in there. Upon reviewing the footage: nope, it was mostly her holding up a title belt. Meanwhile, backstage at a house show in Arkansas, Paige is with Alicia Fox and announces that she’s broken up with Del Rio (those not comatose since the fall and also not restricted from the internet know that the break-up didn’t last, because Instagram). Paige feels she needs to get away. And with that we get a teaser segment for the remainder of the season, which wasn’t exactly that specific to any particular story… unless you really care about Nikki’s comeback.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS EPISODE REPORT: 1/25 TOTAL DIVAS REVIEW (ep. 10): Don’t steal Renee’s hat, training elephants involves cruelty, literally the worst email possible, and oh yeah, Lana and Rusev get married and throw cake